Christmas of Frivolity: Frivolité Macarons

So how did I spend my Christmas, you ask? None other than with my trusty, crumb-stained whisk, my caramel-encrusted saucepan, and my warmly endearing Gaggenau oven. I decided to embark on the perfect macaron conquest as with hundreds of other fellow pastry-chef-or-baker wannabes; much to the delight of my friends, much to the horror of my parents (both of whom cannot stand the slightest bit of grease left behind in their kitchen), and much to the detriment of my already stretched attention.

Although my past experiences with macarons have been reasonably alright and flavorful, I’ve just never managed to get that one with the perfect textured shell with a puffy support of ruffled edges. I think this time, though, we’re nearly there. It helps that I’ve now gotten a sense of what is good macaronage, but I think what really made the difference was the almond flour I had acquired from our last trip to San Franscisco. Call my kitchen ridiculously skewed- we have two ovens of different sizes, a steamer, two coffee machines, two microwaves, and yet not a decent food processor or the like to ground my almond flour. So it was a life-changing moment when I bought a more finely ground flour from the US.

It was a beautiful moment.

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Tanning their glossy little surfaces; the macaron way of spending a good day at the beach suntanning (or in their case, lamp-tanning). Nothing beats the marvelous (albeit apprehensive) feeling of peering through the tinted glass doors of the oven, watching in a mixture of wonder and admiration of a proud mother hen as the little baby pastries slowly grow into full-fledged macarons.
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Beautiful crackle of the parting shell as you crunch down, the tangy sweetness of caramel and the salty taste of sea, making a perfect blend of salty and sweet with the most delightful addition of delicious juicy semi-dried apple centers.
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Stacks of heaven poised so delicately; so enticingly beautiful. Still about three boxes hiding in the background!
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Look at those beautiful feet; the wonderful ruffled edges that are the significant attribute to the perfect macaron. And the filling- just oozing out, spotted with beautiful flecks of caramelized sugar.

They aren’t perfect yet, there’s always room for improvement! Some little pointers to remind myself to take heed of next time:

  1. Check the macaronage, this time was just about two or three folds too much so it was less viscous and the batter spread a little too much. 
  2. Remember to turn the oven on fan mode, just salvaged it this time!
  3. Leave the macarons out for longer, this time we had to go for dinner so there was no other choice, but longer time= poofier ruffled edges!
  4. More filling. To compensate for the sweet taste, less sugar.
  5. Improve piping skills.
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